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This Psalm comes home recommended from the comment the Holy Ghost was pleased to make of it, by the Apostle Paul. Romans 3:10 . The principal subjects of it are; The universal sin of man; his enmity against God; and the prophet's prayer in consequence, that salvation would speedily arise out of Zion.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
What an awful state is man reduced to by the Fall! Here we read that the foolish man saith in his heart, There is no God: and in the world we see how foolish men come forth to say it by their actions. Alas! what is man by nature?
It would have been some alleviation of our ruin, had the deadly sin been only here and there in certain instances, or even general in many instances: but when by the divine inquiry we find that the disease is universal, and that all have sinned and come short of God's glory, Reader, behold the misery of nature. Who is there that will venture to make an appeal against the decision? See Proverbs 20:9 ; Romans 3:9-19 . I detain the Reader here to remark, that in our common-prayer translation there are added three verses similar to those in Paul's epistle to the Romans, Romans 3:13-18 which are not in this translation.
The sad blindness of men's minds in their denying the existence of God, is here very strongly described; and the contradiction of such unbelief, as strongly pointed out in the fear of such a guilty mind. And the cruelties to God's people is also shown. The sacred writer hath drawn a striking representation of the horrors of an alarmed conscience, enough to make the ears of everyone that heareth it to tingle. Deuteronomy 28:66-67 .
What a blessed relief, views of Jesus and hopes in his salvation afford, to bear up the mind under the sad and heart-breaking prospect of universal corruption. Reader, what but this can relieve your soul under the consciousness of your own participation, in the universal corruption of a fallen nature? My soul what would be thy state, hadst thou not found redemption in the blood of the Lamb, and if God had not found a ransom to deliver thee from going down to the pit? See how the faithful of old longed for the coming Saviour! And how doth the whole church of Jesus now long for his second coming, without sin unto salvation.
READER, what blessed improvements, under the Spirit's teaching, may be drawn from the perusal of this Psalm? Surely the Holy Ghost intended it for the greatest benefit to the church: and therefore let us look up for his divine influence to be upon us, that we may gather what is his mind and will in our improvements from it. And, first, shall not the picture here drawn, of universal corruption, be blessed to our view, in the conviction of the truth, and the consciousness that we are involved equally by nature in the same melancholy ruin? If all have sinned and come short of God's glory, all are implicated in the guilt. And it is a decided mark of grace, when a sense of our lost state hath induced a sense of our unworthiness and helplessness to our own recovery. Surely the very hope of God's favour is begun in a consciousness of guilt, and the desire of deliverance from it. If then God, by his Holy Spirit, hath given this conviction in the heart, and put a cry there, What must I do to be saved? then the same earnest longings as holy men of old put forth for salvation to arise out of Zion, will appear in the devout breathings of our souls also, that we may be brought into a saving acquaintance with, and heart-felt enjoyment of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, thou precious Redeemer, thou, and thou only, art the salvation of our poor ruined and undone nature! Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood. Thy holy life, thy spotless death, thy perfect obedience and sacrifice, as the Surety of poor sinners, have raised up our nature from the ruins of the Fall. And therefore, Lord, we now join the petition of Old Testament saints, that the salvation by thee may be manifested to all thy people, to bring the prisoners out of prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. And oh! Lord, hasten all thy comings here in grace, and bring on the full manifestation of thyself, in thy kingdom of glory.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 14". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26